Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

Opinion Editorials, February 2012


Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)




40 US Organizations Call for Action on NYPD Surveillance of New York Area Mosques

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 6, 2012


CAIR Calls for Hearings on NYPD Targeting of Shia Mosques

Secret document recommends spying without warrants or evidence of wrongdoing

(NEW YORK, NY, 2/2/12) --

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called for hearings in that state's legislature to investigate new revelations that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) initiated a program of spying on Shia mosques without warrants and without any evidence of wrongdoing by worshipers.

CAIR-NY cited a secret NYPD document, titled "US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City" and revealed by The Associated Press (AP), that "recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Shiite Muslims and their mosques, based solely on their religion." According to AP, none of the targeted mosques had been linked to terrorism by the NYPD or by federal agencies.

AP's report also states:

"The NYPD is prohibited under its own guidelines and city law from basing its investigations on religion. Under FBI guidelines, which the NYPD says it follows, many of the recommendations in the police document would be prohibited. ... The secret document stands in contrast to statements by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the NYPD never considers religion in its policing. Kelly has said police go only where investigative leads take them, but the document described no leads to justify expanded surveillance at Shiite mosques."

NYPD Document: Gather Intel Info at Shiite Mosques

US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City

"We are beginning to wonder whether NYPD officials believe American Muslims have any constitutional rights that need be respected," said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick. "Each new revelation of NYPD targeting of the Muslim community without evidence of wrongdoing paints a picture of a department that has little regard for legal prohibitions on ethnic and religious profiling."

McGoldrick said New York Muslims will rally tomorrow following their Friday congregational prayers to protest the NYPD's targeting of their community.

CAIR-NY: Rally for Justice in Foley Square This Friday

CAIR-NY: New York Muslims to Rally Against NYPD

CAIR-NY: New York Muslims Fight Back Against Police Department's Institutionalized Paranoia About Islam

A series of recent investigative reports by AP revealed that undercover NYPD officers in a so-called "Demographics Unit" spied on Muslim communities and houses of worship with the assistance of individuals linked to the CIA. NYPD officials initially denied the Demographics Unit existed, despite the AP's publication of an NYPD presentation and other documents that described the mission and makeup of the unit.

SEE: CIA Lawyer Never Approved NYPD Collaboration that Built Widespread Muslim Spying Programs AP: NYPD Demographics Unit Presentation

Reports indicate that the NYPD even spied on Muslim leaders who figured prominently in community outreach efforts, and infiltrated Muslim student groups not suspected of committing any crime.

SEE: NYPD Even Spied on the Muslim Leaders Who Were Helping Them SEE: NYPD Spying on Muslim College Students Now

CAIR-NY -- along with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC) and other minority and civil liberties groups -- recently called for the resignations of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne due to revelations that they covered up their roles in the production of the anti-Islam propaganda film "The Third Jihad" that was shown to almost 1500 NYPD officers.

Video: CAIR-NY Rep on Al-Jazeera to Discuss NYPD Showing Anti-Islam Film

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, 212-870-2002, or 203-206-6883, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

ADC joins over 40 coalition partners in calling for immediate action

(see list of coalitions below)
Washington, DC | | February 2, 2012 --

 Recent reports indicate that the New York Police Department (NYPD) has been conducting covert surveillance of mosques in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The targeted mosques, highlighted in the secret NYPD document dated May 15, 2006 released by the Associated Press earlier today, are largely focused on the Shi’a Muslim community. The activities of the NYPD have raised grave concerns within the broader Arab American and American Muslim communities and, in this particular instance, among Shi’a Muslims.
The confidential 10-page document outlines a systematic plan to investigate ties between local mosques, Iran, and other groups that the NYPD perceives as threats. The report specifically documents efforts by the NYPD to monitor 15 different mosques throughout the Tri-State Area. This is despite the fact that no illegal, or even suspicious activity, has ever been reported at these religious centers. This news comes at the heels of the recent controversy around the training of NYPD officers through racially charged and bigoted videos such as “The Third Jihad.”
Through excessive stop and frisk practices, overzealous surveillance measures, and a complete lack of transparency, the NYPD has blatantly violated civil rights and destroyed the trust necessary for effective policing. Such acts of surveillance undermine trust between the Muslim community and the NYPD. These measures are merely the latest in the well-documented history of NYPD’s targeting of communities of color through discriminatory policing practices. The NYPD’s use of widespread ethnic, racial, and religious profiling is a threat to all Americans’ constitutional rights and freedoms. This behavior creates distrust and suspicion among all vulnerable communities and sends the message that law enforcement is not accountable for upholding the right of all Americans to be free from unwarranted police scrutiny. The NYPD should be focused on tracking down actual threats, not targeting innocent Americans for invasive investigations and surveillance.
We, a broad coalition of civil liberties, human rights, Muslim, and interfaith organizations, call for the NYPD to acknowledge this wrongdoing, immediately cease all such activities, and create more transparency. Furthermore, we demand an external investigation of the policies and practices employed by law enforcement, the development of an independent oversight mechanism over the NYPD, and the immediate resignation of NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has demonstrated a complete lack of accountability, total disregard of jurisdictional limitations, and an inability to protect and serve members of his constituency.
Al-Awda NY
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Arab Muslim American Federation
Arab American Association of New York
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Black Agenda Report
Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR)
Council on American-Islamic Relations - New York (CAIR-NY)
Council of Shia Professionals
Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM)
Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
Imam-e-Zamana Foundation of North America
Independent Viewpoints
Islamic Circle of North America - New York
Islamic Information Center (IIC)
Jafria Association of North America (JANA)
Jersey City Peace Movement
Labor for Palestine
Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of Greater New York
Middle East Crisis Committee, CT
Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC)
Muslim American Society (MAS)
Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)
Muslim Foundation Inc.
Muslim Law Students Association at Fordham Law School
Muslim Leaders of New York
Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Muslims for Peace
New York City Labor Against the War
New York Community of Muslim Progressives
New York Committee to Stop FBI Repression
NJ Labor Against War
NJ State Industrial Union Council
NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia
Pakistan Solidarity Network
Shia Association of North America
Turning Point for Women and Families
United National Antiwar Coalition
Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)
WESPAC Foundation
World Can't Wait

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.


Ray Kelly Admits Involvement With 'The Third Jihad,'

Anti-Muslim Film Shown To NYPD Officers

First Posted: 01/25/2012 10:21 am

Huffington Post, 02/ 2/2012 5:12 pm

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted through a top aide Tuesday that he cooperated with filmmakers of "The Third Jihad"-- a radical anti-Muslim movie, which was screened for almost 1,500 officers during counter-terrorism training in 2010.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne confirmed to The New York Times that Kelly took part in an interview with the film's director, Erik Werth, in 2007. Browne also said Kelly expressed regret at the decision.

"Commissioner Kelly told me today that the video was objectionable," Browne said, "and that he should not have agreed to the interview five years ago, when I recommended it."

Browne and Kelly only admitted their involvement in the film after producer Raphael Shore emailed The Times and provided a date and time of the interview.

Tom Robbins of the Village Voice originally reported the department's involvement with The Third Jihad, which asserts that most American Muslims are involved in promoting terror, after hearing that cops were made to watch the film.

Responding to Robbins' article, the NYPD initially said the film was "mistakenly screened a couple of times." A Freedom of Information request by the Brennan Center for Justice, however, revealed the film had been shown "on a continuous loop" for up to a year of training for nearly 1,500 officers.

The NYPD said a sergeant, unbeknownst to Kelly and Browne, independently screened the film for officers. The sergeant has since been disciplined, according to Browne.

Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday the police department used "terrible judgment" in screening the film. The criticism is curious however, as Bloomberg has previously defended the department's exposed secret program to gather intelligence on Muslim neighborhoods across the city.

The trailer for The Third Jihad is below. For more, go here.




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & &